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AQI: Good (0 - 50) AQI: Moderate (51 - 100) AQI: Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101 - 150) AQI: Unhealthy (151 - 200) AQI: Very Unhealthy (201 - 300) AQI: Hazardous(301 - 500) Action DayAction Day
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Air Quality Forecast
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Air Quality Index (AQI)
Health Message: Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
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Forecast Discussion: Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Friday, mostly sunny skies prevail over the region as higher pressure continues to build in from the west. The positioning of the high to our west is helping to keep the flow today out of the northwest. The northwesterly flow is, in turn, keeping a cooler and drier air mass over the region. Right now, temperatures are only ranging in the mid 50s. Air quality levels have, however, risen into the moderate range thanks to a more modified air mass beginning to build in from the west. Expect PM 2.5 levels to swing on either side of the good / moderate threshold over the weekend as a new frontal system moves through the region. Here are the day-to-day details... *** On Saturday, partly sunny skies will persist over the region as the area of high pressure, which was off to our west on Friday, drops off to our south and east. At the same time, another weak cold front will begin to push in over the Great Lakes. As a result of these two systems, the winds are expected to turn more southwesterly. The winds will increase in magnitude during the afternoon hours as the high moves away from our area and the cold front approaches. The southwesterly flow will help keep temperatures slightly above normal, with afternoon highs peaking in the low to mid 60s. Air quality levels will also stay elevated. The light flow in the morning will be conducive for an inversion to form. Therefore, expect the highest PM 2.5 levels to persist in the morning hours. Once the inversion breaks and the winds increase, expect PM 2.5 levels to drop, but not low enough to force PM 2.5 levels out of the moderate range. *** For Sunday, mostly sunny skies will prevail over western PA as the frontal system, which was across the Great Lakes on Saturday, drops southward through PA. As a result, expect the winds to turn more out of the west, northwest, allowing a cooler and drier air mass to build in. In fact, afternoon highs are only expected to make their way near the 60 degree mark. The combination of the cooler and drier air along with strong afternoon flow should be enough to drop PM 2.5 levels back into the good category. *** On Monday, mostly sunny skies will once again persist over the region as higher pressure begins to return. By pushing in from the west and into a location over the Mid-Atlantic, the high pressure system is expected to steer our winds out of the southwest. These southwesterly winds will allow a warmer, more humid air mass to return to the region. Also, it will allow a more modified air mass, which was residing over the Midwestern US, to slide east into western PA. As a result, not only will afternoon highs peak near the 70 degree mark, but PM 2.5 levels are expected to range within the low moderate range. *** Extended Outlook: As we take a peek into next week, we notice that the week will start off pleasant, thanks in part to a new area of high pressure building in over the eastern US. After a brief cool snap on Sunday, an area of high pressure will extend eastward across the East Coast. As it does, the winds over our area will swing out of the southwest, allowing warmer and more humid air into the region. As a result, highs for the first couple days of the work week will be in the 70s. Air quality should follow suit and rise back into the moderate range due to a more modified air mass building in from the west. Toward the middle of the week, the first of two frontal systems will press through the region. The first front, slated to push through on Wednesday, will provide a shower or two before moving off to our east. A cooler and drier air mass will build back into the region. A second frontal system will push in just in time for the weekend and provide a reinforcing shot of cool and dry air for western PA. Needless to say, expect PM 2.5 levels to drop back into the good category during this period. --Nolan

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